Film maker Leila Djansi has a way of trending and this time around she is trending for the comments she made about Nollywood.
“I don’t think those people, this crop of filmmakers should be put under the umbrella of Nollywood. They should be put independent because the name carries a lot. If you start tagging them Nollywood, every negative connotation that comes with Nollywood… is like calling your son ‘Hitler’” she said in an interview.
The above comment has infuriated many personalities in Nollywood, calling on her to apologise.
The latest personality to add his voice is Haitaian Hollywood actor, Jimmy Jean-Louis who has worked with Leila and other Nollywood filmmakers. He is also known for his documentary titled “Jimmy Goes to Nollywood”.
According to him in a post, “Leila Djansi’s commentary in the video is genuine for an industry that many are passionate about but, it has been misunderstood.”
Read below what he has to say;
I only know a few people as passionate about Nollywood and African cinema as Leila Djansi is. She introduced me to Nollywood and Ghanaian cinema and I have gone ahead to make movies with amazing filmmakers from that industry. Talk of the Cursed Ones with Nana Obiri yeboah, The CEO with my dear friend Kunle Afolayan among others and of course Sinking Sands, I even hosted the AMAA in 2012.
Jimmy Goes To Nollywood is a documentary that was made to help the industry. to introduce it to the world even more and address issues concerning an industry that has become one of the most lucrative industries in Africa today, employing many.
The hoopla surrounding Leila Djansi’s commentary in the video is genuine for an industry that many are passionate about but, it has been misunderstood. It is a misunderstanding between two pillars of the film industry. I have known Leila for a long time now and she is one person who will be honest with you, no matter what.
Her criticism of the industry is from a place of genuine concern for its growth. This she has demonstrated many times by continuously employing Nollywood talent.
The name Nollywood does provoke conflicting discourse, and asked whether the new branch of filmmakers remain under that identity, Leila offered, that identity might cause the filmmakers to be judged unfairly by the standards of the world.
Nollywood was not likened to ‘Hitler’, as unreleased portions of her interview will ascertain.
African cinema will be nothing without the strength and bravery of the pioneers of Nollywood.
I believe in African cinema, I believe in Nollywood, we have to continue to work together, that’s were the strength lies. I encourage you to see the entire documentary “Jimmy goes to Nollywood” on Netflix in USA/UK and on A+ (Canal +) in Africa.